Legal Rebellion in Michigan Over Refugees Could Help Trump Win State

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson intends to file an injunction calling for a temporary ban on the resettlement of all refugees in his Michigan county.

Patterson broke the news on the Frank Beckmann Show, on WJR radio in Detroit.

“I’ve brought in my legal team from the county, and we’re about to sue them [the federal government] to get an injunction to stop them from relocating more people into this community until the rules are adhered to,” Patterson told Beckmann.

“The federal law could not be more specific,” Patterson continued.

“It wasn’t you [the federal government] may want to inform local county officials” about resettling refugees in their jurisdiction, the county executive added. “It says you shall inform the local county officials.” (emphasis added)

“One of my concerns is they’re not vetting them [the refugees],” Patterson noted.

“Everybody from Comey at the FBI, from the National Security Administration. . . say that … we’re going to slide in, slip, in some terrorists among the poor people who are fleeing the battle and the oppression,” he continued.

“Oakland County leads Michigan in refugees resettlement and Michigan leads the nation, so we are right in the middle of this fight,” Patterson added.

More than 1,000 of the 4,000 refugees resettled in Michigan in FY 2016 were placed in Oakland County, an affluent suburban Detroit county with a population of 1.2 million.

According to the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration interactive website, 465 of the 1,321 Syrian refugees resettled in Michigan in FY 2016 have been resettled in Oakland County.

Patterson’s stunning announcement came on the same day a Rasmussen Reports Poll was released showing 74 percent of Americans oppose President Obama’s plan to increase the number of refugees resettled in the United States to 110,000 next year, up from 85,000 this year.

It also came on the day President Obama snubbed Congress, cancelling a statutorily required appearance by members of his administration to appear before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the American National Interest to explain their call for increasing refugees in FY 2017, which begins in less than two weeks on October 1.

Instead, President Obama traveled to the United Nations in New York City, where he addressed the General Assembly and called for more “global integration.”

Recent attacks by refugees have highlighted the security and terrorism problems enveloping the federal refugee resettlement program.

On Saturday, Somali refugee Dahir Adan attacked ten people at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, before an off-duty police officer shot and killed him. That same day Ahmad Kahn Rahami, an Afghan immigrant and likely refugee, allegedly planted bombs that detonated in New York City and New Jersey.

Refugees may also pose a public health threat. In Michigan, as Breitbart News reported previously, nineteen refugees have been diagnosed with active tuberculosis over the past six years.

In June, Patterson wrote a letter to Robert Carey, director of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, “demanding and requesting” that the federal government “consult with” Oakland County officials prior to resettling refugees in the county, as required by the Refugee Act of 1980.

Carey told Patterson in response that he had no intention of complying with the law that places a positive burden for consultation on the federal government and Office of Refugee Resettlement, but that Patterson could attend “consultations” held in the state in the future.

Patterson’s announcement has the potential to launch a number of lawsuits against the federal government by county and city governments who have not been consulted by the federal government and Office of Refugee Resettlement prior to the resettlement of refugees within their jurisdiction, as the Refugee Act of 1980 requires.

Two states, Alabama and Texas, have filed federal lawsuits to end refugee resettlement in their jurisdictions, but both states lost in district court.

County and city governments present a vastly different legal issue because the federal government has almost universally failed to even go through the motions of “consultation” with them, as it has done with most states.

As Breitbart News reported previously, “city leaders in Flint, Michigan have not been informed” by the federal government of plans to resettle 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees there in FY 2017.

Plans by the resettlement agencies to expand the program to a number of previously untouched areas of the state, such as Traverse County, and increase the number of refugees resettled in FY 2017 by 38 percent to 5,600 are likely to meet resistance from local county and city officials who have, until now, had no idea they have been targeted for refugee resettlement.

Recent polls in Michigan indicate that Trump has closed the gap in the normally blue state and now trails Clinton by only three percent, within the margin of error. Intensity of opposition to increases in refugee resettlement appears to be one of the factors behind Trump’s rise.

In one poll, 53 percent of Michigan residents said they opposed increasing refugees in the state.

Trump favors reducing the number of refugees, Clinton favors increasing the number of refugees.

Resettlement agencies in Michigan have not helped their case by hiding resettlement information from residents and presenting information to the public that, in many cases,  is misleading at best.

In Oakland County, Samaritas (formerly known as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service of Michigan) provided an example of this communication misfiring on Tuesday.

Samaritas resettled 794 refugees in Oakland County in FY 2016, and plans on resettling 810 in FY 2017, according to an abstract it filed with the State Department as part of a behind-the-scenes refugee allocation process sometimes referred to as “bidding for bodies.”, and made available to Breitbart News through Freedom of Information Act requests:

Nationalities served FY 2015–FY 2016 Afghan, El Salvadoran, Iranian, Iraqi, Somali, Syrian

Proposed nationalities FY 2017 Afghan, Congolese, El Salvadoran, Iranian, Iraqi, Sudanese, Syrian, Ukrainian

Episcopal Migration Services resettled 300 refugees in Oakland County in FY 2016, and plans on resettling 420 in FY 2017, according to an abstract if filed with the State Department:

Nationalities served FY 2015–FY 2016 Iraq, Syria

Proposed nationalities FY 2017 Afghanistan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Moldova, Palestine, Russia, Syria, Ukraine

Both abstracts, as well as abstracts from other resettlement agencies throughout the state of Michigan were obtained by Secure Michigan, a grassroots organization, and provided to Breitbart News.

On Tuesday, the Detroit News reported that “Lynne Golodner, a spokeswoman for Samaritas, Michigan’s largest resettler of refugees,  said the charity has not resettled many Syrian refugees in Oakland County because of its high housing costs.”

“As a human services provider, we’re carrying out a federal mandate and our main goal is to welcome refugees who have no where else to go and have been approved by the federal government,” she said,” Golodner added.

Golodner may not consider the 465 Syrian refugees resettled in Oakland County in FY 2016 “many” but officials in Oakland County do, and they intend to sue the federal government to stop the influx of those refugees into the county in FY 2017 and beyond.


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